Tyler Magner wins wild race to the finish in Stage 1 of Tour of Utah

Eli Lucero, Herald Journal via AP

Riders make their way up Logan Canyon during Stage 1 of the Tour of Utah Monday, July 31, 2017, near Garden City, Utah.

By Rich Winter

With 500 meters to go in Monday’s 132 mile Logan to Logan, Stage 1 of the Tour of Utah, Holowesko Citadel rider Tyler Magner saw his opportunity and went for it.

With mass chaos swirling behind him following a hairpin, left hand turn from a 5-lane road to a one-lane finish, Magner hit the gas and had just enough in the tank to hold off a furious finishing pack, edging Axeon Hagens Berman rider Chris Lawless by millimeters. At least seven riders finished within a bike length of Magner.

“There was a lot going on the last 2K really, and we just kinda sat back until it was time,” Magner said. “We saved all our bullets for the final stage and basically John Murphy just gave me a great lead-out. It was a super fast sprint and I’m just super stoked to hold these guys off.”

It was a brilliant start for Holowesko Citadel which entered the day with plans to get a teammate into any initial break. It took a minute, but when the 10-man break happened, Magner was pleased to see a teammate up front.

“One of our team goals today was to get someone in the break and we were excited when Andrei Krasilnikau got up there as someone to push tempo,” said Magner.

For Lawless, the second-place finish was a good start to the Tour, but less than what he hoped for on a day when Axeon Hagens Berman was riding in memory of teammate Chad Young, who died earlier this year.

“For me the team rode really well for me, I feel like I let them down,” Lawless said. “This was a special day to commemorate a teammate, so it was a very special and emotional day and I think we showed it out on the road. It was a shame I couldn’t finish it but that’s the best team performance I’ve ever had the chance to be part of.”

With few sprint stages in the 2017 tour, teams paid plenty of attention to the…

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